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We the Students Essay Contest

2022 Essay Prompt

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How does an understanding of natural rights and respect build a free society?

Essays should be between 500-800 words and should demonstrate an understanding of natural rights, how they relate to the principle of respect, and how the flourishing of a free society is dependent upon them. Excellent essays will go beyond "dictionary definitions," to express their understanding and reasoning about the connections among these principles. Specific examples, and well-researched facts should be combined with students’ own observations and experiences. A good essay will demonstrate how these principles are not just abstract ideas but are part of people's everyday actions and choices.

The winners of this year’s contest will receive:

1st Place – $7,500 and a scholarship to the 2022 Constitutional Academy summer program in Washington D.C.

Runners Up – 5 prizes at $1,500 each

Honorable Mentions – 10 prizes at $500 each

Essay Writing Guidance:

Note: Ideal We the Students responses…

While you are writing:

After you write, ask yourself:

1. Have I answered all aspects of the question?

2. Is my essay well-written?

3. Is my writing correct?

Other ideas:

Try reading your essay aloud to a family member. Does it sound like it flows easily? Can your audience member summarize your essay back to you in one or two sentences? (If they can’t, try going back and clarifying your ideas.)

Try putting your essay down for a day or two and coming back to it and re-reading it. Do you notice anything you’d like to change or add?